Let Your Garden Show

A loosely-clustered arrangement of complementary flowers gives the look of a freshly-cut garden bouquet perfect for any room in the house. Low ceramic, metal, or terra cotta pots are a great way to use short-stemmed flowers in a trendy, fun way.

Step 1: Gather your flowers
Garden flowers should be harvested in the cool of the morning when water and nutrients are at their highest levels in the blooms. Always cut flowers with a sharp knife or clipper. Place flowers in a bucket of warm water and allow them to take up water before arranging.

Step 2: Plan the arrangement
The “hand-tied” arrangement is one of the easiest to create. Select three to five varieties of flowers. Different shapes and textures of flowers work best — some spike flowers, some round, as well as some that serve as filler.

Step 3: Start the assembly
Lay flowers out on your work area in like piles, with all stems stripped of foliage that will be below the water line to prevent bacteria from growing. Begin assembling the arrangement by laying one stem over another, with all stems lying in the same direction. The stems will begin to resemble a teepee. The farther up the stems you hold the flowers, the more compact the bouquet will be. The farther down the stems you hold the flowers, the looser the bouquet will be.

Step 4: Bind with ribbon
When all the flowers are assembled, bind them with raffia ribbon or covered wire. Cut all the stems to the same length, drop the bouquet into your favorite vase, and enjoy!

Greg Wright is the floral designer for BJ’s Home Accents Inc., 10388 Indiana 662 in Newburgh. He has been a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers since 1995. Flowers furnished by Mayflower Gardens in Fort Branch, Ind.

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